More late drama as late penalty rescues a point


 A 94th minute Callum Bennett penalty rescued a point for Felixstowe & Walton United in a keenly contested Pitching In Isthmian League North match at the Goldstar Ground. The Seasiders had much the better of the first half but found themselves 2-1 down at the break, Coggeshall were happy to soak up the pressure in the second half, but Bennett was on hand to convert the deserved late leveller.

The rain finally gave way an hour before the game to leave the pitch in a soft but playable condition. Lamell Howell was back in the starting line up in place of the injured Tyger Smalls for the only change to the side that beat AFC Sudbury so dramatically on Tuesday night. 391 supporters were in attendance but you could hear a pin drop before the start of the game as a minutes silence was held in respect of John Kimble Snr, an avid fan, and much loved member of not just his family, but the whole Seasiders community.



Felixstowe made a great start to the game, passing well, dominating all over the pitch and limiting Coggeshall to brief breaks forward. Ollie Canfer was unlucky to see his shot saved by the giant visiting goalkeeper and similar to Tuesday, the Seasiders were looking increasingly dangerous from set pieces. Kyle Jopling at right back was winning plenty of praise from the side-lines with his confident display and Lamell Howell’s speed and clever play was causing the Seedgrowers all sorts of problems, it was Lamell who  fired just over the bar from long range, quickly followed by Canfer with a similar effort. Felixstowe’s failure to convert their chances was punished on 25 minutes, Aryton Coley scoring totally against the run of play following a defensive mistake. The Seasiders are a different proposition this season though and Lamell Howell levelled two minutes later, cleverly taking down a cross from the right, before taking a step to the  side to wrong-foot a defender and leave the Goalkeeper planted to his spot as his cool finish found the bottom corner. With the teams looking to be heading in level at the break, it was Coggeshall who again took the lead from nowhere, Matthew Price reacting quickest to the loose ball when Callum Robinson could only palm away a 25 yard pile driver from Ethan Kessel.


The second half was a much different affair, the visitors happy to stand firm, be physical and try to frustrate the Seasiders who were getting increasingly irritated by the referee who was always up for a chat rather than reach for the book.The visitors were limited to just one real chance in the second half, a shot that looked destined for the top corner was deflected just over from a defender. The introduction of new signing Noel Aitkens added something extra to the midfield mid-way through the half and Felixstowe did manage to battle through the determined Coggeshall rear-guard to create several chances. Howell was unlucky to see his shot deflected just wide after some good play from Miles Powell, from the resultant corner it was so nearly all square again, a mad scramble in the box finally being cleared inches from the line with no Felixstowe toe able to stab the ball home. With 15 minutes remaining some brilliant play from Kyle Jopling, beating three men in the middle, set Armani Schaar clear towards goal, but his shot was well saved by the brave goalkeeper. The chances kept coming and Jordy Matthews suddenly found himself in space in the centre, six yards from goal but again the keeper was equal to the shot. Felixstowe looked to have squandered their chance of a point with just a couple of minutes remaining when Callum Bennetts corner fell perfectly to Sam Nunn in the box but his firm header agonisingly flew just over the crossbar. With the clock ticking towards 94 minutes, the Coggeshall forward Nwachuku raced forward but despite the desperate cries of his teammates and management to head for the corner flag, he instead went for goal from a tight angle but got his shot all wrong as it dribbled back to Robinson, the visitors were made to pay for this unusual poor game management when from the resulting goal kick the ball quickly made its way forward to Lamell Howell in the box who was tripped as he was about to shoot. Callum Bennett calmly stepped up to lash his spot kick into the roof of the net and salvage a point, the least Felixstowe deserved.


Speaking after the game, the Seasiders Assistant Manager Andy Crump was in a reflective mood. “We want to show some recognition first to John Kimble Snr, it was a fantastic minutes silence before the game and we had spoken to the players before about how important it would be to put in a performance for him, and I’m not going to lie, when Callum stepped up at the end for the penalty, l was looking up and asking John for a bit of help, and he certainly gave us some help!.” He went on to say, “It was a funny game really, bit of a cliché I know, but we didn’t play too badly in the first half, I thought we played well, but we conceded two poor goals, the first one a poor decision playing out from the back, and the second one probably not reacting quick enough to the loose ball, but I think our football showed the type of football we are trying to encourage the boys to play. Obviously we’re pleased that we were able to keep going to the final depths of the game and get that equaliser that on the balance of play was well deserved.” Andy also mentioned the introduction of Noel Aitkens. “We knew that after playing two games in quick succession that “Logger” (Leon Ottley-Gooch) was likely to only have 60 minutes today, so to be able to bring on someone like Noel just shows the strength in the squad and hopefully we can get him a few more minutes in his legs at Brantham in the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday as he gets himself back to fitness.”








Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by David Francis













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